Hawthorn appoints Colin Rutherford as new chairman
Community pub company Hawthorn has announced the appointment of Colin Rutherford as the new chairman of the 700-site group.
Rutherford, who has been a non-executive director at Mitchells and Butlers for eight years, takes up his position immediately, and joins CEO Mark Davies, CFO Matt Ward, COO Edith Monfries and non-executive director Ken Buckley on Hawthorn’s board.
“Colin will be an outstanding chairman and I know we will make a formidable team working closely together in a sector we both have a true passion for,” Mark Davies, CEO of Hawthorn, said.
“Colin brings a lot of industry knowledge and corporate finance experience to our Board and is very alive and ambitious to the opportunities ahead and I’m delighted with this important appointment.”
Rutherford added: “Having worked in this sector for a long time I’m fortunate to have seen first-hand what the business is all about, and what the Hawthorn Board is capable of achieving.
“In Mark and the rest of the management team, Hawthorn have a strong, dynamic leadership, with a clear ambition for growth, and I’m looking forward to working with them all at such an exciting time for the business.”
Half of employers say they lack enough trained or experienced staff to fully reopen
The majority of hospitality operators have experienced some team members refusing to return to work, according to new research by workforce management specialist Bizimply.
The new Reopening Expectations and Challenges survey of employers confirms that many operators are struggling to find enough experienced staff.
Bizimply found that only 50% of hospitality employers have enough trained or experienced staff to fully reopen after lockdown – with 25% revealing that finding shift and team leaders was their biggest issue while 22% highlighted chef recruitment.
Consequently, 82.3% have made changes to their recruitment and training procedures to address post-lockdown staff requirements, while 75% believe Brexit has made recruitment more challenging.
What’s more, almost two thirds (62.5%) have experienced some staff being unable or unwilling to return to work with reasons given including concerns about personal safety, childcare issues, wanting more hours or higher pay, and those who have found other jobs or returned to their home countries.
Additionally, 31.3% of employers have taken on new staff in order to reopen, and 25% have increased investment in staff training.
"Our survey shows that the scale of the employment challenge facing the UK hospitality sector shouldn't be underestimated,” Bizimply CEO Conor Shaw said.
“Most customers have been in a forgiving mood in the early weeks of reopening, but they won't accept poor or slow service for too long.”
Wine Guild Education creates skills courses to address post-lockdown challenges
Wine Guild Education – the skills development arm of the Wine Guild of the United Kingdom – has launched a new suite of free hospitality service training courses.
The courses, being run in association with training provider Skills Republic, are Hospitality Team Member Level Two (Wine Pathway) and Hospitality Supervisor Level Three (Wine Pathway).
As apprenticeships the courses can qualify for up to 100% funding.
“With the industry now facing severe staff shortages at a time when consumers will be eating out more than ever it has become vital for all food operators, be it restaurants, hotels, pubs or wine bars, to retain and incentivise staff.
“As the industry adapts to change more emphasis will be put on multi-tasking and the need for employees to have a broad range of skills and a good understanding of the business in which they’re working,” Wine Guild vice chancellor Mike Hildesley said.
Stonegate launches multi-unit leadership diploma
As reported by The Morning Advertiser’s (MA) sister title MCA Insight, Stonegate Pub Company has created a new Multi-Unit Leadership Diploma, in keeping with the operator’s “bar to boardroom” ethos.
Designed to train the next generation of pub company leaders, the programme consists of a level five management and leadership syllabus, alongside an additional level seven award.
It will be delivered by industry experts, with guest tutors from the Stonegate board and industry educator Dr Chris Edger.
“As a company we continue to build on our training programmes year on year, ensuring everyone within the business has access to training that will allow them to further their careers, as well as their personal and professional growth,” Lee Woolley, director of learning and organisational development, said.
“This is not only part of our own ‘Bar to Boardroom’ philosophy, but a part of what we believe is our duty to the industry as a whole.”
Woolley added that the industry needed to change its perception of being a sector of “stop-gap” jobs.
“By showing people the side of hospitality that includes rewarding, exhilarating careers, in which whoever you are, or whatever your previous qualifications, you can succeed with the right attitude and drive, we can begin to make those changes,” he added.
Hospitality job postings up by 46% as venues reopen
Pubs are desperately seeking more hands on deck with the number of new hospitality job vacancies rising by 46% in the past two weeks.
Audit, tax and consulting firm RSM looked at the latest UK-wide job postings on recruitment site Indeed and found there were some 39,167 live vacancies for hospitality jobs posted in the last two weeks.
This was an increase of almost half (46%) from 26,736 postings the previous week when indoor licensed trade was allowed to resume in England, Wales and Scotland.
Almost half of the vacancies were listed as chef or cook roles, highlighting the stark impact of Brexit and the pandemic.
Door security shortages 'could risk public health'
The recovery of nightclubs will be threatened by a shortage of door security staff unless the Government intervenes, bosses have warned.
In an open letter to the Government, leaders from the UK Door Security Association (UKDSA) and Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) pleaded for a relaxation of training requirements.
Rigorous requirements will exacerbate the sector's recruitment struggles, the letter said.
It warned that six-in-10 door supervisor positions were at risk of being unfilled for pubs, nightclubs, bars and festivals.
Fresh training standards require double the hours, taking seven-and-a-half days to complete compared to a previous four-day course.
Initial course pass rates have dropped from 90% to under 50% because of tougher standards, the groups said.
What's more, public health requirements will mean that night-time economy businesses need 105-110% of pre-Covid security resources, the groups state.
A UKDSA spokesperson said: “We are deeply concerned that a culmination of issues within our sector will generate a dramatic shortfall in licensed security resources.
"It is obvious to everyone that the upcoming season for events and festivals, coupled with the re-opening of hospitality and nightlife, will present an unprecedented level of demand in a very short period of time."
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Pub groups named among best companies to work for
A number of on-trade businesses have been named among the UK’s best companies to work for.
Compiled by workplace engagement firm Best Companies, The 100 Best Large Companies to Work For 2021 list ranks private and not-for-profit organisations employing between 200 and 1,999 workers.
Hickory’s Smokehouse was at number 11 in the top 100, came fourth in the top 20 Leisure and Hospitality Best Companies to work for, number 17 of 100 businesses in the Best Company to Work for in the Midlands, and fifth best of 100 companies in the northwest as well as number eight out of 30 in Wales.
The Coaching Inn Group came in at number 21, while ranking fifth best in the Leisure and Hospitality Best Companies to work for, number five out of 100 in the Midlands and 25 out of 75 in the east of England. The business was also named the ninth best company of 50 in the southwest and fourth of 30 in Wales alongside number 25 of 75 in Yorkshire & The Humber.
Stonegate appoints new property director
Stonegate Group has appointed David Roberts to the role of property director across the group’s estate of more than 4,500 pubs.
Roberts joins Stonegate from the Co-op, where he was most recently MD of Co-op Power, and previously MD of Co-op Property.
A start date has yet to be confirmed.
The property director role at Stonegate has been covered internally since the untimely passing of Nick Rockell last year who had been with the company since inception.
“David is a great appointment for Stonegate, both in terms of his commercial and property skills and in his fit with our culture and values,” Simon Longbottom, CEO of Stonegate Group said.
“I look forward to welcoming him to the business and working with him in the future.”